It was one of those crazy games. Do we have the most extra inning games in the ML now?
Mike Gallo loses another ballgame because of a HBP.
Phil Garner is gonna be second guessed today about IBB Albert in the 5th (I would have IBB him too) with 1st open and 2 out. It worked out yesterday, didn’t work out today, but I don’t have any problems with this. Scott Rolen will NEVER be Albert Pujols.
But as far as I’m concerned, the REAL second guessing will be – WHY did he leave Berkman with his bad knee out in the OF on the wet grass? He didn’t need to pull Springer OR Lane. I think that Lane is in Phil’s permanent poopoo house, and I would bet $$$ that every other GM in the business is waiting for Purpura to trade him for the lefty reliever Phil craves and they will pounce on Jason like a cat on a mouse. But I think Berkman is gonna have to rest that knee again, so hopefully, Jason will recover. He’s now sac bunting, that’s how low he’s sunk in Phil’s eyes…
But the facts are that Willy Taveras, his boy, isn’t playing well at all – OBP isn’t even .300 – very few infield or bunt hits, very few SB – he’s not exactly making things happen. But Willy won’t be benched for either Burke or Bruntlett.
And something is wrong with Mo Ensberg, too. April 30, he was .329 BA; .467 OBP: .765 SLG; 1.232 OPS
In April, he hit 8 doubles, 1 triple, 9 HR, had 21 BB and 19Ks
In May, he batted .222 with 2 doubles, 8 homers, 19 walks and 28K. In fact, he went 1 fer 5 and got lucky on the bloop single he DID get. I haven’t seen him have a good swing on anything in at least a week. He did make 3 really great plays in the field today, I’ll give him that.
– and speaking of plays in the field…
Guess I better start from the beginning. With Roger coming back, Taylor was nervous – he KNOWS he’s pitching for his spot in the rotation. AND if Brandon Backe comes back, for his spot in the bullpen. Phil shook up the lineup AGAIN – and of course, this means guys gotta learn how to field with someone different every time…
LF – Palmeiro
RF – Berkman (bad knee and all)
3B – Ensberg
1B – Lamb
2B – Burke (and he looked great, too, by the way. He is just a great athlete.)
C – Ausmus
SS – Bruntlett (another GREAT athlete)
P – Buchholz
So Taylor had good reasons to be nervous. But then weird things happened. In the first, we score 1 but strand 2. Then in our half, The Pest GO 4-3, then John Rodriguez singled juuuust to the right of Burke, then it was Uncle at the bat. So Pujols hit into what SHOULD have been a Taylor-made (sorry, couldn’t resist) 4-6-3 GIDP, but the ball hit the umpire’s leg, he declared it a dead ball, called Pujols safe and awarded Rodriguez second. I don’t understand this at all. Why should everyone be safe (I can’t find the rule…) The inning shoulda been over with 16 pitches, but instead it’s guys on first and second with only 1 out and Rolen up. So Taylor tries to get Rolen to swing at a high inside pitch, but hits him. Bases loaded. And Taylor goes back to the windup, gets Encarnacion to FO and Ks Bigbie on a BEAUTIFUL hi outside corner FB. But it took him 30 pitches.
Welcome to St. Louis. Your First Time is usually painful – just ask Wandy…
Meanwhile, we score 2 runs, but strand 5. Suppan wasn’t very good today and we NEEDED to run away with it early. But we hit for **** with RISP. Same old story.
The weird field stuff started to go OUR way in the top of the third – Palmeiro singled, then Lance hit a double off the top of the RF bullpen – if it had been Burke or Taveras on first, it woulda brought home a run, but Palmeiro had a very short lead and only got to third. Ensberg pops out – like I said, bad swings lately – and after IBB Lamb after 2 outside pitches, Burke is up. I’m thinkin HERO, Cards thinkin GIDP ZERO. And sure enough, Chris hits the first pitch straight to Miles, the second baseman, who makes one of those fake swipe tags on Lamb, but OBVIOUSLY misses, then throws to first. He shoulda just done the 4-6-3, but he hadta get cute. TLR tried to argue Lamb was out of the basepath, but he obviously wasn’t and Miles obviously missed the tag, so it’s a FC RBI. Ausmus Ks looking on a pitch that sure looked inside to me.. The ump had a large strike zone…
The Pest scores a run in the bottom of the third after hitting a double jussssst inside the RF line. You know and I know and the NL knows that Albert is the best, but Eckstein is The Pest. You best believe that Uncle wouldn’t be on pace to break Hack Wilson’s RBI record if that ^&#%@! Pest wasn’t on base all the ^&$%@! time… I think the pitchers look at him and relax – he’s not a power hitter, but next thing you know, he’s on base and the next thing you know, he’s crossing the plate.
Taylor had major control problems in the 4th, but managed to get out of it, walking only Molina… and had thrown 74 pitches over 4 innings – looked like he just might could go 6 or 7…
it’s that %$^@#$! Pest again. In the 5th, Suppan FO, then Pest hits a 7th pitch single to right, goes to second on Rodriguez GO. Then Uncle is up. OK. We’re leading 2-1, man on second, 2 out. Now it is true that Taylor has gotten him to hit into weakass grounders his last 2 AB, but, and I mean BUT, Albert is not the best for nothing. And Taylor is NOT Roy. And I agree with Phil 100% walking Albert, and in fact, I think that any manager who didn’t was an idiot (nicest word I can find) and just because Rolen hit an RBI double didn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do because it was.
And it’s men on second and third and Juan Encarnacion is up. Bad luck time. Taylor Ks him swinging, but the pitch bounced in front of the plate and Brad doesn’t get it and so Albert scores the go ahead run on a WP. Taylor is, uh, a bit, um, unnerved, walks Bigbie on 4 straight pitches, but manages to get Molina to FO with bases loaded. And he’s done for the day – 107 pitches, 3 ER, 5 hits, 3 BB, 2 K. And it’s twice he shoulda been out of an inning and had to throw way too many pitches to finish up. Not one of his ace days, but not one of his horrow shows, neither. It woulda been nice if his hitters had driven home a few more runs, too – might could have given him a little more confidence with more breathing room…
But Ausmus and Bruntlett tie it up in the 6th on back to back doubles, but Biggio comes in to PH and unlike last nights pinch hitters, FO.
So then it’s the battle of the bullpens.
Adam Wainwright throws 2 awesome innings (I think that the Cards just might could consider letting one of their FA walk this winter and putting this guy in the rotation. I am REAL surprised the Braves let him go in a trade – this guy looks like a Jason Schmidt…) Izzy throws 2 scoreless innings – I notice the ump gives him strikes below the knees – he got Willy on one of those, and here I thought it was Jason Lane’s enemy. Lance Ks by swinging on a pitch waaaay outside – I was surprised – he usually doesn’t do that. Looper gets 1,2,3. But then again, he’s death to RHB and BP to LHB.
Trever Miller looked good – gets 1,2,3.
Borkowski goes 2 excellent innings, K-ing Uncle and Rolen.
Dan Wheeler looks shaky – not sure what is wrong with him, but he goes to 3-2 counts on the first 2 guys before getting outs, then gets the Pest to FO. As long as he doesn’t pitch to Uncle, who eats him alive.
Springer pitches the next inning, looks just fine, even with the Barry-type walk to Uncle, who hits him pretty well (hey, why be different…)
Then, Phil makes his mistake. He decides to pull Springer AND Lane and send out Wilson to LF and Berkman in right (on wet grass in an unfamiliar ballpark, mind you) and sends in Mike Gallo to face the bottom of the order.
I don’t know what’s gonna happen with Lance and his knee, which he aggravated trying to get to Molina’s hit, but he’s limping moren Barry Bonds and that is NOT good. Gallo wasn’t terrible, but his big BIG mistake was hitting The Pest on an 0-2 up and in pitch to load the bases when he was almost out of it. And there went the ballgame when Taguchi singled up the middle thru the drawn in IF.
Haven’t heard a word about what will happen to Lance, and we have a blessed day off and are headed back to home sweet home.
Well, his ERA is unprintable, he’s lost 2 games in 1 weeks time. But you KNOW Phil has an obsession with the lefty vs lefty matchup and he for some reason does not think that a pitcher who gets out BOTH leftys and rightys is more valuable than the LOOGY, so if Purpura won’t trade Lane for some lefty crap, they might could send Gallo down and bring up someone from AAA.
Lets see who we have in AAA:
Phillip Barzilla (starter) 2-3 in 8 GS with 1 CG: 42 H, 25 R, 1 HR, 22 BB, 34 K, 1.49 WHIP, 3.98 ERA over 43 IP
8.79 H/ 9 IP (ok)
4.60 BB/ 9 IP (yeccccch)
7.12 K/ 9 IP (fine)
0.21 HR/ 9 IP (OUTSTANDING)
Steve Kent (reliever) – in 19 G, 9 GF, 2 HLD, 2 Sv; 17 H, 3 HR, 10 BB, 9 K over 18 IP – 1.50 WHIP, 3.50 ERA
8.50 H/ 9 IP
5.0 BB/ 9 IP (gaaaaaaaaak)
4.5 K/ 9 IP (too low with a high walk rate like that)
1.50 HR/ 9 IP
Mark McLemore – on the DL since 5/25 with a shoulder problem – had a 2.25 ERA over 12.0 IP in relief
– of course, I have NO idea what their lefty/righty splits are…
But Barzilla looks bettern Kent – low homers, higher Ks. and Barzilla isn’t a guy who can go deep into starts, anyhow – if you subtract that CG, he didn’t even average 5 IP/GS. Not that he looks even as good as Mike Burns did last year before he was called up. And the only lefty in AA seriously sucks. Trust me on this.
And speaking of splits, I hear tell that Roger is supposed to be starting June 22 against the Twins. If there isn’t any change in the rotation between now and then, that’s Andy Pettite’s scheduled start. So we’ll see how they’re gonna re-do the rotation …
and he’s tuning up with starts at
– single A Lexington (with Koby) June 6
– AA Corpus Christi June 11 (I just checked – sold out already)
– AAA – Round Rock June 16
you wanna bet there won’t be an empty seat in any of those stadiums? And I’d bet there won’t be any in ours, neither…